Time for contact centres to let staff work from home?

Published on: 18 June 2014
Improving technology and new flexible working rights may change the very definition of what a contact centre is and help boost customer satisfaction in the process. The prevailing idea of a call centre is of a large office in which many agents sit and use their call management tools to respond to customer queries. This setup has high overheads but many operators are [loath] to abandon it due to the assurances it brings - namely they can see call centre agents and know they have the requisite software to get the job done.In the past, many companies have looked at the possibility of a virtual/work at home agent model, but dismissed its benefits due to the lack of communications technology capable of providing the aforementioned reassurance.Now that high-speed broadband is widespread and VoIP communications are almost mainstream, many contact centres may respond to requests for flexible working favourably.With the new laws coming into effect at the end of the month, Call Centre Helper has published an article that shows there are further customer satisfaction advantages to be had via a virtual setup.It argues that homeworking will remove the daily commute from workers' lives, allowing them to restore the work/life balance and actually improve the call centre culture. Agents will lower their own costs and feel more comfortable in their roles, removing many misgivings or distractions that they may have taken into their duties in the past.Another benefit that call centre bosses may not have thought about is the demographic of their workforce. The article explains that homeworking attracts older agents with more life experience to offer. This age group tends to share more experiences with the average caller, allowing them to genuinely emphasise and boost levels of satisfaction.It also easier to ascertain a more accurate background report on an older agent than it is an employee who has no previous working experience.

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